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A supermoon over Dublin Bay Alamy
Starry Skies

Comets, eclipses and meteor showers: What to watch out for in the sky in 2024

Here’s what you can mark down in your calendar.

GET SOME BINOCULARS for Christmas? Or just enjoy a spot of stargazing?

To ring in the new year on earth and above, The Journal spoke to David Moore, Chair of Astronomy Ireland and Editor of Astronomy Ireland magazine, about what’s in store in the skies during 2024.

From meteor showers to supermoons, here’s what you can mark down in your calendar.


There are two comets expected to pass over Ireland this year that should be visible without any fancy technology: the Pons-Brooks comet in April and the Tscuchinshan-ATLAS comet in October.

The Pons-Brooks comet, which “hasn’t been seen in seventy years”, will likely be the weaker of the two, and only faintly visible to the naked eye. However there is a chance, Moore said, that it could become significantly brighter than expected if it has an ‘outburst’.

“It will be visible in the evening sky, at least faintly and if it has one of its outbursts, it will be the brightest thing in the sky after the sun and the moon.”

Later in the year, the Tsuchinshan–ATLAS comet is anticipated to be at least as bright, if not brighter, than the brightest stars in the sky.

It should be a “humdinger of a comet”, Moore said, adding that it will be the brightest visible from Ireland in ten years. “We don’t get comets like this very often — maybe once a decade.”

“It will be brightest in the evening sky early in October.”

Meteor showers

Astronomy fans will know the two key meteor showers that can be seen over Ireland each year are the Perseids in August and the Geminids in December.

In 2024, the Perseids will peak on 12 August, followed by the Geminids a few months later on 13 December.

Moore said the Perseids tend not to be as bright as the Geminids, but happen at a warmer time of year. The Geminids in December are more likely to be hidden by clouds, but Moore advises keeping watch and waiting for a break in the clouds — you may well get lucky. 


Both a partial solar eclipse and partial lunar eclipse should be visible from Ireland this year. 

The moon will pass in front of the sun on 8 April in what will appear as a full eclipse in parts of North America, but from Ireland will be seen as a partial eclipse. “The moon won’t totally cover the sun, but it will take a bite out of it,” Moore described.

On the night of 17 September into the 18th, the moon will pass into the earth’s shadow for a partial lunar eclipse.


A supermoon happens when the moon is both full and at its closest point to Earth in its orbit.

There are four chances to see one in 2024:

  • 19 August
  • 17 September
  • 17 October
  • 15 November

Artemis 2

An exciting human-made addition to the skies this year will be the Artemis 2 mission, which is part of Nasa’s plans to land people on the moon again for the first time since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972.

“The Artemis 1 mission built the rocket and flew it around the moon with no-one on it to see if it worked, and it did, perfectly,” Moore said.

“Artemis 2 is to fly around the moon with a crew on board but not actually land,” he said. 

Artemis 2 will involve four astronauts and is expected to launch in November 2024. It should be followed by Artemis 3, which will touch down, potentially in late 2025.

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